The Military Spouse JD Network is an international network of legal professionals improving the lives of military families. We advocate for licensing accommodations for military spouses, including bar membership without additional examination. MSJDN includes military spouses and partners from all branches of the United States Military: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy as well as spouses of retired service members and legal and military organizations who support our mission.

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On the Blog

MSJDN Members Honored by North…

MSJDN Members Honored by North Carolina Defense Business Association

MSJDN members Hayne Beatrous Caliva and Lauren Roland attended the North Carolina Defense Busine… Read More

Elizabeth Jamison

6 days ago

 

MSJDN Past President Mary Redi…

MSJDN Past President Mary Reding Smith Honored by Women’s Bar Associat…

By Josie Beets

As part of its annual Stars of the Bar recognition, the Women's Bar Associatio… Read More


Elizabeth Jamison

2 weeks ago

 

Military Spouse Hiring Prefere…

Military Spouse Hiring Preference:…

Note: This is the first in a series of articles to address federal hiring preferences. Stay tuned for more information on the Military Spouse Preference for excepted service, including attorney positi… Read More

Military Spouse JD Network

2 weeks ago

Being Admitted to the North Ca…

Being Admitted to the North Carolin…

Author's Note: Jennifer McBee was the first person to be admitted to the North Carolina Bar under the Military Spouse Licensing accommodations in January 2014.  We sat down with her to discuss her exp… Read More

Christine Elizabeth Ellis

2 weeks ago

Recap: MSJDN 2014-2015 Strateg…

Recap: MSJDN 2014-2015 Strategic Pl…

MSJDN’s 2014-2015 leadership team – including the Board of Directors for both MSJDN and the Military Spouse JD Foundation, as well as Committee Chairs – met on July 26 and 27 at the historic Army Navy… Read More

Thea Pitzen

2 weeks ago

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Our Mission:

MSJDN supports military spouses by:
- Advocating for licensing accommodations, including bar membership without additional examination,
- Providing education about the challenges facing military families,
- Encouraging hiring military spouses, and
- Providing a support network.
- MSJDN includes military spouses and partners from all branches of the United States Military: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy as well as spouses of retired service members and legal and military organizations who support our mission.

The Barriers:
Geographic Insecurity
Military Families are geographically insecure, moving every two to three years, often with tours overseas. These moves are based on the needs of the U.S. government, and are mandatory for the service-member. Although the spouse and children may technically refuse to move, this causes obvious hardships on families already often separated by deployments.

Legal Profession
Attorneys are required to be licensed in each state where they practice. Licensing can take up to a year, sometimes more, for the application, character and fitness review, bar examination, and processing. Licensing can cost $4,000 to $5,000 each time for preparation materials and fees. All gaps in employment must be justified on bar applications and can cause delays in admission.

What this means for our Members
It is not unusual for our members to have taken 3 or 4 different bar examinations. Less than 1/3 of MSJDN members have full-time legal employment. Half of MSJDN members are unemployed and actively looking for work, under-employed in non-attorney positions as paralegals/secretaries, or can only find part-time work. MSJDN members report that the biggest challenge to finding and keeping employment is frequent moves and lack of portable employment opportunities.

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